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I Missed You Finishing Off Your Painting!

I had to do something! We were both feeling rather despondent at a craft exhibition near London. I was with my daughter, Amy, trying to sell her 'Liquid Colour' prints and my original paintings and fine art prints. It was not going well. I decided, for the very first time, to try painting 'live' in public; I felt extremely apprehensive about doing it; it is one thing to be isolated from the world, in your own studio, being able to concentrate 100% without anyone looking over your shoulder, but it's another to do the exact opposite with a huge crowd looking over both shoulders!

     I set up my easel and found a very small picture from a magazine of a dolphin that interested me. I began setting out the picture with my back to the 'audience' who were the people passing down the aisle between the craft stands.

     I began to realise that to paint in public you have to forget about everything around you and lose yourself in the world of your picture, and amazingly, that seemed to happen. I didn't realise, until I had a rest and my Amy told me, that I'd had a captive audience behind me, waiting for every brush stroke to appear! Wow! People were actually stopping and watching and waiting for the painting to develop.

When the second day came, I continued to finish off the dolphin painting before lunch. In the afternoon, someone came over to the stand and was very disappointed to see that I had finished the painting. 'I'm across the way, on that stand over there, and I'd been fascinated watching your painting appearing on your canvas, and I'm really annoyed with myself because, since I had to go somewhere this morning, I missed you finishing off your painting!' He was really disappointed, however, it showed me how much people enjoy watching an artist at work.

     I also became happy with people stopping to talk about the painting and wanting to know how I did it. I always encouraged them to have a go and try it out for themselves. I even let a little girl paint a great boat on the dolphin painting - it is still there today, underneath the dark sea paint I put on later!

So, all you artists out there... have a go at painting in public – you'll be amazed at how much you will enjoy it and how many lovely people you will meet it - who are totally amazed at what you can do.